Interview with a study participant


View from the Inside Out:
An Interview with Gregory Moore

When were you diagnosed with Parkinson's disease?
I was diagnosed in March 1990; just about 16 years ago.

What are your hobbies and how has PD affected your activities?
Well, I love to fish and I enjoy doing home improvement projects around the house. As the disease has progressed, PD increasingly has affected when and how fast I do things, but not what I do. When my medications are not working as they should, I may have to tip my hat to the PD, capitulate, and postpone or delay what I'm doing. Ultimately, however, the meds work and I can return to what I was doing. It's a great object lesson in patience.

When did you start getting involved in Parkinson's research?
I can't say for sure. I think it was 10 or 12 years ago. I was offered the opportunity to be in a trial of a new drug. It sounded interesting, and after reading more about it and discussing the possible risks with my doctor and the PCO staff, I decided to participate. It was interesting (though it didn't lead to "the cure"), and since I didn't blow up either, I was willing to consider participating in other studies as well. Since then, I've been in about 12 or 14 clinical trials all together.

What has been beneficial about your experiences in clinical trials?
It gives me a good feeling to know that I'm contributing in a way that most people can't. I can't do anything about having PD, but because I do have it, I can be a test subject. In that way, I can contribute in a way that most people cannot. The fight against Parkinson's disease will require the contributions of a lot of people, and participation in clinical trials, while not for everybody, is one unique way that those of us with the disease can help.

What has been your favorite experience in clinical trials?
It's an overall experience rather than an individual event. I have really enjoyed working with and getting to know just about everybody at the Parkinson Center of Oregon. I feel privileged to be able to work with such dedicated and genuinely nice people who have devoted their careers to doing away with this miserable disease.

Have there been any downsides in your involvement in clinical research?
There have been a couple of downsides to my involvement in clinical studies. First, there's no cure. Yet. Second, that brain surgery gave me one hell of a headache for a couple of days!

Any words of wisdom for other patients with Parkinson's?
Yes. First, hang in there. We'll get this puzzle that is Parkinson's disease solved some day, and I have to think it will be sooner rather than later. Second, consider participating in a clinical trial. It's one way that those of us with PD can contribute to the eradication of the disease that is unlike the contribution that anybody else can make. If you're interested, talk to your doctor or a PCO staff person.